Middle School Maker Rube Goldberg Mentor

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Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

  • 4 people are interested

Position Summary: Middle School Maker (MSM) volunteers will help OMSI Museum Education staff offer fun, hands-on science learning experiences to Portland Public Schools 7 th graders. The program, Crazy Contraptions-Complex Machines, is a student driven designing and building of Rube Goldberg machines. Successful volunteers will encourage students to create their own solutions through questions rather than through lecture-style instruction, maintain a flexible outlook and be ready to take on any challenge.

The MSM programming will be happening throughout the Portland Public Schools (PPS) school year. Each school that comes to the museum will visit for a total of 9 hours over three consecutive days (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays). Volunteers must be able to commit to at least one of the three-day series listed below. Sessions dates:

  • February 27, 28, March 1 - 9:00 to 1:00 pm
  • March 13, 14, 15 - 9:00 to 1:00 pm
  • April 3,4,5 - 9:00 to 1:00 pm
  • April 10,11,12 - 9:00 to 1:00 pm

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Mentor a team of six students as they design and build a Rube Goldberg machine.
  • Help student use power and hand tools safely.
  • Ensure a safe work environment.
  • Assist Museum Educators with classroom management by modeling appropriate behavior, actively engaging students in activities, and intervening when directed by the teacher.
  • Work cooperatively with teachers and OMSI staff members.
  • Communicate with diverse audiences.
  • Assist in classroom set-up, clean up and maintenance of a safe learning environment.
  • Assume other duties as assigned by the Manager of Natural Science and Administration and education staff.

Required Knowledge/Skills:

  • Able to interact positively with middle school students.
  • Able to maintain a calm, pleasant, and cheerful demeanor in a busy and loud setting.
  • Able to communicate effectively with people of all ages and diverse backgrounds.
  • Able to provide excellent customer service.
  • Must present a professional appearance.
  • Dependable and punctual.
  • Self-directed and willing to take initiative.
  • Willing to follow OMSI rules and procedures.
  • Willing to commit to at least three consecutive days per month
  • Willing to attend training prior to the start of the program.

Preferred Knowledge/Skills:

  • Interest in/knowledge of a science or education related field.
  • Experience supervising, tutoring or teaching students in at least one of the grade levels in middle school.
  • Experience in museum, camp, or other related, non-traditional learning settings.

Volunteer Benefits:

  • Training and a lifelong learning experience.
  • Admission for the volunteer to the museum, theater and planetarium shows, and submarine tours.
  • An OMSI Family Membership upon completion of 50 hours of volunteer service.
  • Discounts in the OMSI Science Store and on-site restaurants.
  • The opportunity to meet many new people and learn more about OMSI.

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1945 SE Water AvenuePortland, OR 97214



  • Mentoring
  • STEM
  • People Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Public Speaking
  • General Education





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